Student with gun detained at American Fork Jr High School

May 24, 2023, 2:02 PM | Updated: 7:19 pm

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — Students at American Fork Junior High School reported seeing a handgun on campus, causing the school to go on a “hold” with secured classrooms.

According to American Fork Police Department, officers responded to the school at approximately 10:13 a.m. at the report of a handgun that was observed inside a backpack.

Students reported seeing the handgun to a teacher. The school resource officer, who was on campus at the time, was able to recover the handgun. The owner of the backpack was identified as a male student attending American Fork Junior High School. He was detained by the school resource officer.

“Why are our kids getting guns,” expressed Rachel Doyle, a mother of a student. “And why are our kids having to go to school and worry about lockdowns.”

During that time, the school was placed on a “hold” status where students were secured in classrooms but classrooms continued to operate normally. Officers were also placed throughout the school to be present as an investigation took place.

“Our daughter called us in tears and said she had been in English class and had heard a student had brought a gun and ammunition into her classroom,” Doyle said.

Once it was determined there were no threats to the life or safety of those on campus, the hold was lifted and school continued as normal.

A release from the department stated,

“Although the department’s investigation is still ongoing, it was determined the juvenile male was the one who brought the handgun to school and it appears that he acted alone. Further questions regarding how the handgun was obtained and the reason for which he brought the handgun to school are still being investigated.

Our department is resolutely committed to the safety of our children and youth, especially while they are at school. We are grateful to our officers and to Alpine School District as they worked together to rapidly address this incident. We also commend the students who had the bravery to immediately notify their teacher of their observations.”


Meanwhile, Lehi High School, another Alpine School district school, was put on alert due to a threat.

“We received word of a threat, so the school was put in a secure protocol, and the entire school has been searched,” explained David Stephenson, Communications Director of Alpine School District.

As students were kept in their classrooms, police determined the threat was a hoax, leaving students and parents, and even district staff distraught.

“Frankly, it’s quite frustrating that things like this continue to happen,” Stephenson said.

Both police and school officials said they are extremely proud of the students who quickly spoke up today – ultimately, keeping everyone at the school safe.

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